Too often as a baby potter, I would ruin a pot by caving in the base as I stamped my logo. From coffee tampers to pepper grinders, the stamp support is not a new idea, but nothing beats a custom tool. Here is how to make one at home with the tools you already have.

A good starting amount of clay is about 12½ ounces (350g), but depending on the height of the item you wish to brace, you may need more or less. Cone your clay into a tapered shape on the wheel with a wider area on the bottom (1). The smaller top side should be slightly concave to help it stand later during the firing.

1 Cone the clay on the wheel to the desired height (at least a couple of inches taller than the depth of your pot) while making the base narrower than the pot opening. 2 Using a chuck, trim so that the larger end is slightly convex in shape.

Trim the wide end of the support to have a slightly convex shape—this will stop the tool from leaving any dents on the inside of your pot (2). You may need to throw a custom chuck for this, or find an existing pot with an opening that works.

This is a fairly thick tool, and we all know moisture in the kiln leads to disaster, so dry your piece thoroughly. Glaze the wide end and fire standing up on the narrow end (see 3). Finally, use it to support the interior of your pot while stamping the base (3, 4).

3 Insert your support into the interior of your pot. 4 Press a stamp into the supported base of your pot.